A bipartisan group of senators sent a strong message to President Obama Thursday with a resolution that says there won't be a climate change deal next month in Paris without the Senate's approval.
Obama has made signing a global deal to cut emissions a major part of his final year in office. In response, Senate Republicans have ramped up efforts to block his climate change agenda, saying that any deal wouldn't have the support of the American people and would increase costs.
The non-binding resolution says Obama cannot agree to the deal without the consent of Congress. It was introduced Thursday by GOP Sens. James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Roy Blunt of Missouri, in addition to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
"The international community needs to be aware that the U.S. Congress and the American people do not support President Obama's international climate agenda," said Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The resolution was announced just before Congress left for its Thanksgiving break.
"I would urge caution in considering any diplomatic promises that may suggest otherwise as the president is once again attempting to make international promises he cannot deliver," Inhofe said.
Other senators, including Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, are drafting similar resolutions, reiterating that the Constitution and the United Nations charter require congressional ratification of any treaty.
Lee and others argue that the administration is trying to work around the need for Congress to ratify any climate change deal by agreeing to a "hybrid" deal, which includes a mix of political measures that are not legally binding.
Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that any deal reached in Paris will not be legally binding, raising questions from European officials who said the deal would be.